Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in the United States: Cultural Fluency in the Global Era

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2017 Annual Convention, Baltimore, March 23-26, 2017 (Johns Hopkins University)
contact email: 

This session aims to further a scholarly debate on the reality of multilingualism and multiculturalism in the United States in the context of a globalized market led by the United States. The tragic events of 9/11 brought to the public discussion the United States’ inability to communicate with and comprehend other cultures and other languages. As a consequence, different initiatives emerged even at the Congressional level including legislative proposals to address the deficit in language and international expertise. A report on the theme from the MLA reads, “In the context of globalization and in the post–9/11 environment, then, the usefulness of studying languages other than English is no longer contested… At one end, language is considered to be principally instrumental, a skill to use for communicating thought and information. At the opposite end, language is understood as an essential element of a human being’s thought processes, perceptions, and self-expressions; and as such it is considered to be at the core of translingual and transcultural competence. While we use language to communicate our needs to others, language simultaneously reveals us to others and to ourselves. Language is a complex multifunctional phenomenon that links an individual to other individuals, to communities, and to national cultures.” We invite abstract proposals aimed to explore this debate.


Conference theme: “Translingual and Transcultural Competence: Toward a Multilingual Future in the Global Era”


Paper Title: 100 words max.

Paper Abstract: 300 words max.

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